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Surgery is one of the main treatments for mouth and oropharyngeal cancer. You might also have surgery to relieve symptoms, such as difficulty eating.

About surgery

The type and amount of surgery you have depends on the stage of your cancer. Find out when and how you have surgery.

Types of surgery

There are different types of surgery for mouth and oropharyngeal cancer. The type of surgery you have depends on the size and location of your cancer. 

Reconstruction surgery

When the surgeon removes a large area of tissue, they rebuild (reconstruct) the area. Find out about this type of surgery.

Surgery to help you breathe or eat

Cancers of the mouth and oropharynx can sometimes block a part of your throat, which may affect your breathing and eating. Find out how surgery can help. 

Surgery to remove the lymph nodes in your neck

Cancers of the mouth and oropharynx can spread to lymph nodes in your neck.  

Going into hospital

Read about what you need to take in to hospital, what to expect and how to prepare to make it less stressful.

Preparing for your surgery

Read about what happens before surgery, the people you’ll meet and the exercises you need to do.

On the day

Find out what happens on the day of surgery, including about having an anaesthetic.

After surgery

How you feel after your operation depends on the type of surgery. Find out more about how you might feel and possible problems.

Last reviewed: 
31 May 2018

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